Greenleaf Press

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It will be some time before we are able to get these printed, but in the meantime we wanted to make them available to anyone who is interested. You can browse online here or download a .pdf to your own computer. You can even print your own copy if you’d like.

Our history study packages are typically designed for use in one semester, so now’s the time to order for the new year. Break out of the textbook box. Give your children real stories about real people. Reclaim history for them and for yourself.
Greenleaf Press 2010 Retail Catalog

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I’ve just finished several days of quite rewarding work re-organizing and generally making some welcome improvements to the Greenleaf Press website.
The short version: We’ve added categories and organized the books in a much more logical and convenient fashion for each of the major periods of history. Rather than having to wade through all 50 or so books in the Ancient Egypt category, you will now see our Study Package books on the first page, with links to Reference Books, Historical Fiction & Biographies, and Activity & Coloring Books. Here’s the way it now looks:

Over the past two years, my goal has been to make online shopping as easy and straightforward as browsing a print catalog. We had ten years experience putting a print catalog together, and I really enjoyed finding books, reviewing books, and then finding a spot in the catalog to put a group of books together that I wanted to highlight.

It’s been a struggle to figure out how to do this on the web. Over dinner the other night, I was discussing the current state of the web site with our son and daughter-in-law. Both have worked for Greenleaf in the past, and they have made lots of contributions to the development of books and web presence. While talking with them, I had an epiphany on how to present books to shoppers on the web.

Adding categories and additional links give more organization to how we present books and lets shoppers more easily find what they are looking for.

It has also let me re-discover and give more prominence to certain books and groups of books that were getting lost in long lists on several parts of our site.

Case in point: Ralph Moody’s Little Britches series. These are terrific books, and more timely now than ever. They were set in difficult economic times around the turn of the century and tell a powerful story of hard work, honesty, determination, and adaptation to change. But we carry 145 books in our main category of 19th century. How could shoppers find the books when they are listed on one page out of 15? The answer of course, was to help shoppers find what they are looking for by giving them more descriptive categories and links at the “top” page of each section.

Here’s what the re-designed entry page to our books on the 19th century now looks like:

greenleaf_19thThe Little Britches Series now has its own page and link from the top of the session. This is very close to the way I would have laid these books out in a printed catalog – with some visual box/background to set them apart and make them easy to find for people who are looking for them – and to try to catch the eye of people looking over and browsing by conveying quickly something what they are.

So now, if you know you’re going to be studying the middle ages and you want to find some coloring books for your younger children – click on the Middle Ages category in the left-hand column and you’ll see this:

greenleaf_midagesAnd now, click on the link to Coloring Books, either in the text in the center column or in the categories list in the left-hand column (now that you’ve clicked on Middle Ages, the categories list displays all of the sub-categories).

This reorganization of the e-store has taken several long days to implement (and there is still a bit of tidying up to do) – not unlike re-arranging a physical store! The goal is to make it easier or you to find the books you are looking forward.

Feedback and comments welcome! Thanks to everyone who has shopped at Greenleaf over the past several years. Your purchases are what makes it possible for Cyndy and  me to continue to write new books to help parents teach history and literature to their children!

– Rob Shearer, Publisher

PS: Check out some of our other category sections below the chronological coverage of the major historical epochs, like our collection of Biography Series (Landmarks, Childhood of Famous Americans, and Mike Venezia’s Artists, Composers, & Presidents), DK Eyewitness Books, and the Politically Incorrect Guides.

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With the imminent publication of Famous Men of the 16th & 17th Century, I decided to review, revise, & update the Greenleaf scope and sequence for the study of history.

After 20 years of teaching history, talking to homeschooling parents, and continuing to read and write on historical topics, I am more convinced than ever that the keys to teaching history to children are Chronology and Biography.

And I am also equally convinced that we need to be teaching the Bible to our children as a historical document. The Bible is not a collection of morality tales like Aesop’s Fables. The Bible is a historical account of God acting in history from the call of the Patriarchs through the Exodus, the Conquest, the Exile and the Restoration. I believe strongly that our kids should know the history of Israel as their first “model” for how to approach history. And the Bible’s pattern is to tell the story in chronological order and to focus on one key person at a time. The historical books of the Bible tell the story of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, etc… down to Daniel, Esther, Ezra, & Nehemiah.

With the new Famous Men book (and with a few excellent books from other publishers), Greenleaf is able to offer a complete history program for grades 1-8, and a plan for a second study of western civilization in the high school years.

You can download our 3-page Scope and Sequence here. Feel free to copy, forward, and/or print out as many copies as you’d like.

Page One is the plan for the elementary grades.

Page two is the plan for high school students:

And page three are alternate plans to do Western Civilization in four, five, six, or seven years of elementary school:

I’ll have more information about the imminent publication of Famous Men of the 16th & 17th Century over the next few weeks.

– Rob Shearer, Publisher

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It’s been a busy year! And it’s only June!

It occurred to me that I should take a minute and update friends & gentle readers on what’s been going on at Greenleaf Press. A lot, actually. I forget, in the day-to-day press of the urgent some of the significant things that we have accomplished. Here’s a quick review:

Last summer saw the re-launch of Valerie Bendt’s Reading Made Easy and the publication of Cyndy Shearer’s Greenleaf Guide to Medieval Literature.

This year, Greenleaf has released three new titles and we have several more exciting projects under development.

In March we released Handwriting by George Volume 2.

In April we released Voices of the Renaissance and Reformation.

In May we released The Sayings of Mrs. Solomon.

Projects under development:
Famous Men of the 16th & 17th Century – I am happy to report that there are now twelve chapters written, out of a projected 28. Here’s the current, working version of the Table of Contents:


  1. Catherine de’ Medici (1519-1589)
  2. Henry of Navarre (1553-1610)
  3. Elizabeth I (1533-1603)
  4. Sir Francis Drake (1540-1595)
  5. Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618)
  6. James I (1566-1625)
  7. Matteo Ricci (1552-1610)
  8. William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
  9. John Smith (1580-1631)
  10. Wallenstein (1583-1634)
  11. Gustavus Adolphus (1594-1632)
  12. Samuel de Champlain (1570-1635)

Galileo (1564-1642)

Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642)

Charles I (1600-1649)

William Bradford (1590-1657)

John Winthrop (1588-1649) combine with Bradford?

Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) may be too much overlap with Charles I?

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

Rembrandt (1606-1669)

John Milton (1608-1674)

Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675)

Charles II (1630-1685)

Jan Sobieski (1629-1696)

William of Orange (1650-1702)

John Locke (1632-1704)

Johan Pachelbel (1653-1706)

Louis XIV (1638-1715)

When this project is finished, I plan to continue the series with the next volumes, Famous Men of the 18th Century, Famous Men of the 19th Century, and Famous Men of the 20th Century. I’m already looking forward to doing the chapters on Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II!

Handwriting by George, volumes 3 & 4 should be ready to go to the printer shortly. When all four volumes are out, we will have covered all 100 of George Washington’s maxims. Volumes 1 & 2 included the first 55.

Cyndy is working on editing the text of Alfred Church’s The Odyssey for Boys and Girls, which will join her wonderful edition of Church’s The Iliad for Boys and Girls (Greenleaf title: The Story of the Iliad) which we published in 2004. She is also working on the next volume in her high school inductive literature guides, The Greenleaf Guide to Early Modern Literature. We don’t have firm dates yet, but Cyndy’s high school guides are based on ten years teaching in local tutorial and co-op programs. The Ancient Lit and Medieval Lit guides are what she uses for her 9th grade and 10th grade classes. The Early Modern Guide and 20th Century Guide already exist and she’s been teaching these classes at the Schaeffer Study Center for the past six years. But she won’t let me publish them until she’s revised them to her satisfaction!

As always, we continue to scour the publisher’s catalogs to find the best children’s books published each year. The outstanding selection this year, so far, would have to be Pharaoh’s Boat. I can’t say enough good things about this book. Full review is still on the blog.

To get the latest reviews of new books and news about projects, got to the Greenleaf Press website and sign up for the Greenleaf newsletter by clicking on “Store” and logging yourself in (if you don’t have an account, you can create one). In the right-hand column, there is a green box titled “My Account.” It’s the third one from the top. Click on the My Account link in the box and you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) to the newsletter.

– Rob Shearer
(Publisher, Editor, sometime writer, husband & dad – not necessarily in that order!)

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